BACKGROUND: Computer-tailored health education, a promising health education technique, is increasingly being delivered interactively, for example, over the Internet. It has been suggested that there may be differences in use and appreciation between print and interactive delivery of computer-tailored interventions, which may influence information processing. This may especially be the case for women, older people, and people of lower socioeconomic status. Knowledge about differences in use and appreciation could help in choosing the appropriate delivery mode for a particular target audience.
OBJECTIVE: The study investigates a content-identical, computer-tailored intervention addressing saturated fat intake delivered via print or CD-ROM. We analyzed consumer use and appreciation of the feedback information and explored whether possible differences exist among gender, age, and education subgroups.
METHODS: Healthy Dutch adults (18-65 years), none of whom were under treatment for hypercholesterolemia, were randomly allocated to receive a computer-tailored program on CD-ROM (n = 151) or in print (n = 141). At baseline, data were collected on gender, age, and education level. One month post-intervention, data were collected on the use (feedback information read, saved, discussed) and appreciation (trustworthiness, perceived individualization, perceived personal relevance, and user-friendliness) of the feedback. Statistical analyses on the use and appreciation items were performed using chi-square tests and independent-samples t tests.
RESULTS: After exclusion of individuals with missing values, a total of 257 and 240 respondents were included in the analyses of the use outcomes of feedback read and saved, respectively. The results indicate that among the total population, the print feedback was read more often than the CD-ROM feedback (95% vs 81%; P = .001) and saved more often than the CD-ROM feedback (97% vs 77%; P < .001). Similar results were found among the gender, age, and education subgroups. After exclusion of individuals who did not read the information and those with missing values, a total of 208-223 respondents were included in the analyses of the use outcome of feedback discussed and the appreciation items. The personal relevance of the print feedback was rated higher than for the CD-ROM-delivered feedback (0.97 vs 0.68; P = .04), but the effect size was small (0.28). These differences in personal relevance were also seen among women (1.06 vs 0.67; P = .04) and respondents aged 35-49 years (1.00 vs 0.58; P = .03), with moderate effect sizes (0.38 and 0.44, respectively).
CONCLUSIONS: Despite the possible advantages of interactive feedback, the present study indicates that interactive-delivered feedback was used less and perceived as less personally relevant compared to the print-delivered feedback. These differences in use and appreciation of delivery modes should be taken into consideration when selecting a delivery mode for a specific subgroup in order to optimize exposure.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: ISRCTN 01557410; http://www.webcitation.org/5XMylWleH.
- Computer-Assisted Instruction
- Diet, Fat-Restricted
- Dietary Fats
- Health Education
- Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
- Mass Media
- Middle Aged
- Socioeconomic Factors
- User-Computer Interface
- Comparative Study
- Journal Article
- Randomized Controlled Trial
- Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't